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Scottish Ensemble and Shetland Arts are pleased to announce that the UK’s leading string orchestra will come to Shetland this June for a residency.

In keeping with both organisations’ mission to put on events of genuine benefit for local communities, from 22 to 25 June 2016 Scottish Ensemble musicians will be resident on the island, using their time to deliver a varied programme of events based on local needs, ranging from educational workshops to participatory music-making gatherings to pop-up performances in unexpected locations.

Highlights of their stay will include a community-wide dinner part and jam session, held at Carnegie Hall on the 22nd. After spending the afternoon rehearsing with local musicians, Scottish Ensemble will put down their instruments and don their aprons to make a meal alongside members of the community, with local cook and food writer, Marian Armitage in charge. The audience are then invited to join the musicians, to share them for an evening of music and food.

On the 23rd the musicians will head out into the community for an ‘out and about’ day, involving performances in various community spaces, including Wastview care centre, Aith Junior High and ‘living room concerts’ in the North Isles.

On the 24th musicians will take part in a series of schools workshops, and the residency will culminate on the 25th with two exciting performances. The first, Harmony Quest, is a captivating 60 minute play aimed at 3-9 year olds which introduces them to string instruments by turning them in to a range of characters in a musical adventure. This will be followed by a full ensemble performance of En Rêve heady mix of French music from the turn of the century, featuring gems by Ravel, Debussy and Fauré as well as Tchaikovsky’s sonorous Serenade for Strings.

This longer SE Residency is the next event in a partnership between Scottish Ensemble and Shetland Arts, which began in the summer of 2013 with a ‘mini-residency’ centring around a new SE commission by renowned Scottish composer Sally Beamish. The performance, depicting a turbulent sea voyage off Scotland’s coast, featured fiddler Chris Stout and harpist Catriona McKay. This relationship continued in 2015-16, when SE performed three chamber music concerts at Mareel.

Scottish Ensemble’s continued presence on the island has been made possible by the generous support of Inksters Solicitors, a legal firm run by Brian Inkster, based in Glasgow and Shetland and serving the whole of Scotland. Brian said "I am delighted that Inksters are continuing to support Scottish Ensemble in Shetland by sponsoring the mini residency in June. The first mini residency was a great success and very well received. I have been given a number of nice comments from people in Shetland regarding our support of the recent run of three smaller concerts. It is a privilege to be involved with Scottish Ensemble and to assist in ensuring that Shetlanders can experience their music."

SE Group Shot 1 - Black Curtain

Programme Details

Wednesday 22nd June

  • Musical Feast

Carnegie Hall - Sandwick - 7pm

Join us for an edible and audible feast of food and music. After spending the afternoon rehearsing with local musicians, Scottish Ensemble will put down their instruments and don their aprons to make a meal alongside members of the community, with local cook and food writer, Marian Armitage in charge. Marian’s 2015 book ‘Shetland Food and Cooking’ has been shortlisted for a Gourmand World Cookbook Award). The audience are then invited to join the musicians, to share them for an evening of music and food.

Book tickets here

  • The Lounge

SE Musicians will also be present at the Lounge, Lerwick, to take part in an informal session. All welcome.

Thursday 23rd June

  • Out and About Day

SE Musicians head out and about in the isles, performing at a number of locations, including Wastview Care Home, Aith Junior High, Brae High School, Northhavn Care Home, Burravoe Primary School and The Old Haa.

Friday 24th June

  • Education Workshops

SE Musicians will be working with local schoolchildren in a series of workshops.

Saturday 25th June

  • Harmony Quest

Mareel Auditorium - 1pm

Ideal for 3-9 year olds. Join five musical characters on a fun-filled tale of adventure, friendship and sibling rivalry in which narration is brought to life by live music from Scottish Ensemble musicians. This captivating 60-minute play is aimed at primary school children, introducing them to string instruments in a fun way by turning them into a range of characters on a musical adventure.

Book tickets here

  • En Rêve

Mareel Auditorium - 7.30pm

The UK’s leading string orchestra performs a heady mix of French music from the turn of the century, featuring gems by Ravel, Debussy and Fauré. Also including Tchaikovsky’s sonorous Serenade for Strings, this promises to be an exquisite summer’s evening of evocative music, painted by strings.

Book tickets here

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